2021 Marks Visalia’s 5th Annual Pride

Photo of Pride Visalia main entrance

The Source LGBT, co-founded by Nick Vargas and Brian Poth, has been running Pride Visalia for five years. Previously, the event was held in The Old Lumberyard but was moved to the Valley Strong Ballpark this year to follow CDC guidelines.

Pride Visalia took place on October 23rd, 2021, and it continues to be the largest pride event for those in Tulare and Kings County.

Vargas stated, “It was a lot of work to learn a new venue. The staff at Valley Strong Stadium are great. If we were to go back to Valley Strong there are changes we would make around the sound system and layout, but we were very happy to have Pride there.”

The event was also streamed live on The Source’s youtube channel. They estimate that the outcome of people attending was between 2,300 and 2,500.

This can be attributed to The Source’s efforts to bring pride celebrations to Visalia, through their center on 2nd Avenue. Their work includes supporting people through addiction recovery, counseling, fostering, and suicide prevention.

“Two of [The Source’s] core values are ‘Connection+Community and Pride+Visibility’. Pride allows us to build welcoming spaces and foster relationships as well as celebrate our queer and trans identities,” Vargas said, “It also helps us make connections with other organizations, businesses, and our straight allies.”

Some of Pride Visalia’s sponsors include national businesses such as T-Mobile, Anthem Blue Cross, Tucoemas, and local ones like Visalia’s own Token Farms.

The event included the stadium’s kids zone, a twenty-one and up area, the VIP lounge, a myriad of booths, and a drag queen performance from the Queens of the South Valley.

Priscilla McNamara, a drag queen based in Visalia, stated, “I love seeing the younger generation [at Pride] because when I was their age, I wish I had something like this going on in my life.”

Those in Tulare County can support Pride Visalia and The Source by following them on social media, attending local events, and donating to their website, TheSourceLGBT.org